FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 29, 2021
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Nanette Diaz Barragán (D-Calif.), Congressman Mike Turner (R-Ohio), Senator Alex Padilla (D-Calif.) and Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) reintroduced the Outdoors for All Act, a bipartisan bill that would create a dedicated source of funding for projects that expand outdoor recreational opportunities in urban and low-income communities across the nation.
The Outdoors for All Act establishes the Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership (ORLP) program in federal law and guarantees funding for the program. The ORLP program supports urban parks in underserved communities.
“By passing the Outdoors for All Act, we make it crystal clear that funding for urbans parks is here to stay. Far too many low-income communities and communities of color lack access to a nearby park or green space. Green spaces are crucial for the health and wellbeing of our communities. By preserving the Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership program, we will provide much needed urban parks funding for underserved communities throughout our country,” Congresswoman Barragán said.
“This bill would provide investments into parks and recreational areas in lower-income communities to ensure that they are well maintained and safe for people to gather and partake in outdoor activities,” Congressman Turner said.“According to the Trust for Public Land, 78 percent of the Daytonians are within a 10-minute walking distance to a park, and with the COVID-19 still present, it is now more important than ever to give communities a well-kept outdoor space to social distance and spend time.”
“No matter your zip code, everyone should have access to outdoor space in their community,” Senator Padilla said. “Having grown up in Los Angeles, I know all too well how people living in urban areas often lack adequate park space, an injustice that negatively impacts our communities and our environment. The Outdoors For All Act would invest in new parks and open spaces—and upgrade existing ones—to bring nature’s benefits to urban residents’ doorsteps. Improving park access will provide benefits like shade, tree cover, and clean air that are critical as we grapple with the intensifying effects of the climate crisis.”
“Our state is fortunate to have abundant natural resources that allow Mainers and visitors to enjoy our pristine environment,” said Senator Collins. “Regrettably, many Americans, particularly those living in urban and low-income areas, lack access to outdoor green spaces that give them the ability to experience the beauty and tranquility of nature close to home. This bipartisan bill would invest in these communities to support parks, playgrounds, trails, and other projects that will help ensure that all Americans have outdoor recreation opportunities.”
The ORLP program is important for California’s 44th District and Los Angeles County, where low income communities and communities of color lack equal access to local parks. For example, a survey done by the L.A. County Department of Parks and Recreation found that, while the average amount of parkland in the county is 3.3 acres per 1,000 residents, the city of Compton reported only 0.6 acres of parkland per 1,000 residents. In contrast, the city of Malibu, which has three times the median household income of Compton, has 55.5 acres of parkland per 1,000 residents.
The Outdoors for All Act is being reintroduced with momentum in Congress. Barragán successfully attached a version of the legislation to the landmark public lands bill (H.R. 803) which was approved by the full House earlier this year.
In the House, Barragán and Turner are joined by the following cosponsors: Shelia Jackson Lee (Texas), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D.C.), Gerry Connolly (Va.), Steve Cohen (Tenn.), Doris Matsui (Calif.), Andriano Espaillat (N.Y.), Derek Kilmer (Wash.), Dianna DeGette (Colo.), Alan Lowenthal (Calif.), Brian Fitzpatrick (Pa.), Julia Brownley (Calif.), Gwendolynne Moore (Wis.), John Larson (Conn.), Lisa Blunt Rochester (Del.), Jared Huffman (Calif.), Albio Sires (N.J.), Ruben Gallego (Ariz.), Paul Tonko (N.Y.), and Rashida Tlaib (Mich.).
In the Senate, Padilla is joined by the following cosponsors: Chuck Schumer (N.Y.), Cory Booker (N.J.), John Hickenlooper (Colo.), Jacky Rosen (Nev.), Dianne Feinstein (Calif.), Richard Blumenthal (Conn.), Chris Murphy (Conn.), Tina Smith (Minn.), Angus King (Maine), Ron Wyden (Ore.), Patty Murray (Wash.), Chris Van Hollen (Md.), Jon Ossoff (Ga.), Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.) and Amy Klobuchar (Minn.).
The Outdoors for All Act has been endorsed by the following organizations: American Forests, Corazãn Latino, American Hiking Society, Landforce, Latino Outdoors, Outdoor Outreach, San Diego Mountain Biking Association, America Forests, The Venture Out Project, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, Pacoima Beautiful, GreenLatinos, Hispanic Access Foundation, The American Alpine Club, Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust, California Outdoor Recreation Partnership, Youth Transportation Organization (Yoots), Fairmount Park Conservancy, Pashek+MTR, Ltd., David Brower Center, Nature for All, National Recreation and Park Association, GirlVentures, Kokatat, Inc., Appalachian Trail Conservancy, Portland Parks Conservancy, Outdoor Afro, Natural Areas Conservancy, National League of Cities, Outdoor Alliance, Sierra Club, YMCA of the USA, City Parks Alliance, KABOOM!, Outdoor Alliance, REI Co-op, East Coast Greenway Alliance , League of Conservation Voters, LWCF Coalition, Continental Divide Trail Coalition, LWCF Coalition, The National Association of State Outdoor Recreation Liaison Officers ( NASORLO ), Seattle Parks Foundation, Pennsylvania Recreation and Park Society, American Society of Landscape Architects, The Wilderness Society, Justice Outside, Concerned Off-Road Bicyclists Association, REI Co-op, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), American Heart Association, National Wildlife Federation, Outdoors Alliance for Kids
Quotes from some of the organizations supporting the Outdoors for All Act can be found here.
Nanette Diaz Barragán is proud to represent California’s 44th Congressional District, which includes the communities of Carson, Compton, Florence-Firestone, Lynwood, North Long Beach, Rancho Dominguez, San Pedro, South Gate, Walnut Park, Watts, Willowbrook and Wilmington. She serves as chairwoman of the House Homeland Security Committee’s Subcommittee on Border Security.